Excellence in Mentoring Award

The Call for 2015 Mentoring Award Nominations will be sent in May. The awards will be presented at the 2015 Annual Faculty Retreat scheduled for August 7. 

For associate or full professors with five or more years at KU SOM.

The SOM Executive Dean's Excellence in Mentoring Award is earned by associate and full professor members of the faculty and is based on years of experience. The award is designed to allow junior faculty a way to honor their senior faculty Mentors who embody both the letter and spirit of mentoring. This prestigious award acknowledges the time sacrifice and commitments through effort and advice by senior faculty professors to ensure our junior faculty achieve their full academic potential by developing skills and attaining advancement in the clinical, research and teaching areas. Recipients of this prestigious award earn membership in The University of Kansas School of Medicine Society of Distinguished Mentors.


To submit a nomination:

  • The person nominating the candidate must be either:
    • a current mentee of the candidate who is a junior faculty member, or assistant professor, who has been involved in a mentoring relationship with the candidate for a minimum of two years or more, or
    • a previous mentee, who is currently an associate or full professor and who was mentored by the candidate for a minimum of two years or more prior to being promoted from assistant professor in the KU SOM, or
    • a KU SOM colleague who is knowledgeable of the candidate's dedication to mentoring service.
  • Support documents will not be accepted from medical students, graduate students, residents or post-docs addressing their mentoring experiences with the candidate.  this award recognizes the effort of mentoring junior faculty members only.

To qualify as a candidate for the Excellence in Mentoring Award the individual must:

  • be a professor or associate professor in good standing in the KU SOM.
  • have been a member of the KU SOM faculty for more than five years (nominees do not qualify for this award if serving as a member of the Dean's staff.)
  • have mentored a substantial number (five or more) of junior faculty over the years.
  • be scholars with demonstrated success in the areas they mentor.

Nominees must have evidence of superb performance in mentoring junior faculty. For example:

  • Accessibility and commitment to "be there".
  • Excellent guidance of individual research and/or creative projects.
  • Willingness to assist junior faculty in pursuit of their stated goals, actively guiding development of teaching skills, research and pursuit of professional goals, clearly articulating expectations.
  • Holding their mentee to high standards, encouraging and helping them establish their own records of scholarly activity or performance, evidence of supporting mentee's participation in events (e.g., meetings, conferences, committees, speaking engagements).
  • Ability to involve their mentees in “networking” activities with other professionals and faculty.
  • Evidence of mentees completing their defined projects (such at successful competition for grants, completion of publications, meeting promotional goals) in a timely manner.

The award will be based on the following criteria:

  • A demonstrated commitment to fostering the intellectual, creative, scholarly and professional growth of their mentees so they may function effectively and with measurable success in the organization.
  • Evidence of sustained commitment (two years or more) to a professional mentoring relationship that results in career growth or personal development of three or more mentees.
  • Demonstrated valued behavior, attitudes, and/or skills that aid the mentees in achieving competence, confidence and a clear professional identity.
  • Candidates may hold the award more than once, but not within a five-year period.

Nomination Process

The nomination must be provided in a letter and submited no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 10, 2015 to Laura Jennemann, Office of Faculty Affairs and Development.   If you were a mentee of the candidate, please include with your letter a copy your CV (updated within the last six months). We do not need copies of CVs from the candidate, or colleagues and chairs who write a letter.

The nomination must be provided in a letter and include examples such as:

  • A testimonial of what your mentor has meant to you during the time you were an assistant professor.
  • Descriptions of specific behaviors and their significance.
  • Specific examples of mentoring interactions.
  • Descriptions of accomplishments that you directly credit to the influence of the nominated mentor.
  • A statement providing a simple explanation of your work as an assistant professor directly or indirectly influenced by the mentorship, dating from the mentorship relationship.
  • Mentees are strongly encouraged to give specific examples of goals attained, projects completed, promotions, grants or awards earned, obstacles overcome, lessons learned in addition to anything else that they feel is attributable to the mentoring relationship.
  • Please consider and address the List of Questions to Consider when writing a letter.

We encourage you to ask for additional support in the form of a letter for your candidate from their chair, director, professional colleague(s) and as many of the candidate's past or present mentees (individuals who were/are mentored while assistant professors). 

Nominations will be reviewed and selected by the Mentoring Awards Committee Members, chaired by the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development, and two finalists in each category will be recommended to the Executive Dean. The committee comprises various professional levels from an interdisciplinary arena along with past recipients of all the Mentoring Award categories.

Final selection will be made by the Executive Dean, School of Medicine, University of Kansas.  The honoree selected will be notified prior to the 2015 Faculty Retreat.

Please email Laura Jennemann with any questions.

Award & Presentation

  • $1,500 each award
  • Trophy
  • Membership in The University of Kansas School of Medicine Society of Distinguished Mentors.
  • Presented by the Executive Dean at the 2014 Annual Faculty Retreat, August 15, 2014.

Last modified: Jan 26, 2015
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